HAITI: “Expediting” intercountry adoptions in the aftermath of a natural disaster … preventing future harm

Haiti has been a 'popular' country of origin, meaning that thousands of children were at some stage of the adoption process – albeit simply "identified" as potentially adoptable – when the earthquake struck. There were diverse and contrasting responses by 'receiving countries' and others to the subsequent adoption of children displaced abroad. This report documents and reviews the vast range of responses and the exceptional measures implemented by some countries in expediting firstly, the transfer of cases (with an adoption judgment) as well as secondly, adoptions and other procedures (without a judgment).In the context of these exceptional measures, the principal objective of this report is to identify lessons learned from this situation in order to prevent future harm. It is not the intention of the report to denounce a particular country, but rather to provide an objective analysis of the fast-tracking measures implemented, against the backdrop of international norms.

Published 2011-05-13